Home Metro `Search For Common Ground’ tasks politicians on peaceful resolution of electoral disputes

`Search For Common Ground’ tasks politicians on peaceful resolution of electoral disputes


By Monday Ijeh

Abuja – Search for Common Ground, a Non-governmental organisation (NGO), has called on politicians to embrace peace in the resolution of electoral disputes that may arise from the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

A statement by Ms Charline Burton, the Country Director of the organization, on Wednesday in Abuja collaborated with the Nigerian media to congratulate Nigerians on the peaceful conduct of the elections.

Burton also urged Nigerians to continue to remain on the path of peaceful co-existence and cautioned against acts that could heat up the polity on account of the disputes over the election results.

She said that heating up the process would negate the gains already made and called on stakeholders with grievances to follow laid-down legal means of electoral dispute management in seeking redress.

According to her, the decision by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to contest the results of the election in court is commendable.

The NGO said that the decision to use legal means of electoral dispute management was an indication that Nigerians were prepared to toe the path of peace rather than violence in the resolution of disputes.

She said that the NGO had aligned itself with the submissions of the Observation Missions of the African Union, ECOWAS, the European Union and the Commonwealth Observer Group in calling on politicians to uphold the peace accords they earlier signed.

Burton urged politicians to call on their supporters to remain calm and peaceful and refrain from any action that could incite post-election violence or increase ethno-religious tension in the country.

The group urged Nigerians to act responsibly in the use of the social media and cautioned against sharing of hate speech, false or unverified information, or any information that could incite violence.

“We encourage all stakeholders to work toward increased level of peaceful cohesion as the country prepares for the Governorship and States Houses of Assembly elections,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared President Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), winner of the 2019 presidential election held on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Buhari was returned re-elected having polled 15,191,847 votes, winning in 19 states, to defeat other 72 candidates including Atiku Abubakar, the Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 11, 255,978 votes and won 17 states and the FCT, to occupy the second position.

The Chief Retuning Officer and INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, announced the result at the national collation centre on Wednesday morning.

Yakubu said that Buhari was declared re-elected, having met the constitutional requirements. (NAN)

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